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October 26, 2013Mitty needed a last second field goal block to stay perfect in 2013 while Enterprise served another notice to the Northern Section. See who else made headlines in week eight, including California passing another league test.
Special teams don't get the notoriety, but it kept Mitty undefeated in a 13-12 win over St. Francis-Mountain View under the lights at Mitty High School. The Monarchs stayed perfect at 7-0 and are in line for a move up the NCP Top 20 rankings.
Leading through the night, Mitty saw St. Francis drive to the Monarchs' 19 yard line before attempting a game winning 36 yard field goal. However, senior Daniel Mendoza burst through the middle of the line and blocked the kick to seal the win. The Monarchs blocked an extra point in the first half and Tanner Haas made a 47 yard field goal.
"Daniel's been a rock for us for the last three years. The team's really resilient. We have good depth. I still think we have quite a bit of improvement ahead of us. We had a good week of practice. We're progressing just about every week, but this week we may have taken a step back in the second half as far as moving the football," Mitty head coach Matt Haniger said.
Mitty jumped on the board early with a 37 yard touchdown pass from Trent Scharrenberg to Dakari Monroe. After Patrick Fordham made his own 47 yard field goal, Mitty added a pair of field goals for a 13-3 halftime lead.
Despite gaining just 30 yards in the first half, St. Francis saw running back Devin Hurtado rip off runs of 47 and 17 yards. The last of which resulted in a touchdown to pull the Lancers within four. Hurtado was the leading rushing at 63 yards on just five carries. Mitty was paced by 101 yards from Chandler Ramirez.
Mitty appears destined for the Open Division while St. Francis could fall into Division II. If they do fall back, the Lancers become a very intriguing bowl option if they can win their section. Based on Friday's viewing, they would be No. 2 in Division II behind Clayton Valley Charter. Douglas Benton
Cal in control in East Bay Athletic League
After Cal beat Foothill last week 24-7 and San Ramon took care of Granada 31-26, the Grizzlies and Wolves met at Cal Friday night to decide the owner of first place in the EBAL. The Wolves took an early lead, but a few errors and a relentless running attack from Cal, allowed the Grizzles to take the win by a score of 35-21.
The Wolves came out running a no huddle offense as they were able to get two early rushing touchdowns from running back Marcus De La Pena and quarterback Matt Winaker (Stanford baseball commit). Cal did not have too much trouble themselves scoring as quarterback Cameron Owen connected with C.J. Cornwell twice, equaling San Ramon.
Taking a 21-14 lead into the half, Cal would receive to start the third and never look back. Led by senior running back Blake Bierwith, the Grizzlies outscored San Ramon 14-7 in the 2nd half. Bierwith who rushed for 97 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries, helped ice the game for Cal. Running hard and downhill, the Wolves had no answer for the Cal playmaker.
"Our running game has been slow these past two weeks and tonight we were just trying to get back on track," said Bierwith.
There were some bright spots and some very costly spots as well for the Wolves. Both costly mistakes that happened in the second half made it hard for San Ramon to overcome. On fourth and two, the Wolves special teams jumped offside and gave Cal another first down. Also, on fourth and nine San Ramon threw a designed screen pass that only picked up two yards, a very questionable decision.
As for the bright spots, Winaker started the game 10-for-10 passing and also rushed for a 44 yard touchdown in the first half. De La Pena rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, adding a touchdown catch late in the game.
"We have to focus on these next two games and make sure we get at least one win to qualify for the playoffs," said San Ramon wide receiver Christian Fuca.
The Grizzlies are now 7-1 with an unbeaten league record of 5-0 and sole possession of first place. With their only loss coming to Pittsburg, Cal has clinched at least a tie for 1st place in EBAL. As for San Ramon, they are now back to an even record at 4-4 and have two games left to win at least one to clinch a playoff berth. Next week, San Ramon will host Foothill and Cal will travel to play Livermore. Derek Lytle
Enterprise flexes muscles
The defending Northern Section Division I (Enterprise) and Division II (Sutter) champions squared off for a rematch of a game won by Sutter last year held in Redding. Enterprise came onto Wayne Gadberry Field with a will and determination and "to compete against ourselves" said Enterprise head coach Darren Trueblood after a 47-21 win.
The Hornets scored on five of their six first half possessions. Their only stop was a missed 23 yard field goal. The catalyst in the first half was Isaiah Matthews, who accounted for four touchdown runs. The other touchdown was a 73 yard punt return by Justin Abney. He had a 75 yard return to set the Hornets up first and goal on their second possession.
Trueblood noted that Matthews is "a special talent and great kid. One of the most impressive things that happened tonight was Matthews told me he wanted to make sure that Jace O'Ravez got the carry for the last touchdown. Really impressive for a 17 year old kid."
Offensively, Enterprise controls the ball by running behind a big offensive line and the controlled passing attack of Bobby Luken. The Hornets use a variety of bubble screens and quick slants that allow their receivers like Abney and Alex Tallandino to catch the ball in space and make people miss.
The defense is strong up front with Brandon Evers and Casey Gunter leading the way. Their linebackers of Matthews and Nick Tomasin are very strong at the point of attack and athletic enough to pursue and make plays. When it had time, Sutter was able to make big plays against the Hornets' secondary. This is one of the few areas Enterprise needs to improve.
Next week Enterprise entertains Shasta for both the league and "river" championship. Trueblood stated that his team "needs to stay focused on a week to week basis and let those other things take care of themselves." This was in direct reference to bowl implications that this game held as well as earlier wins against West Valley and Oakdale. Michael Benton
Playmakers key in Milpitas win
In a SCVAL De Anza Division battle that will be critical in determining the eventual league champion, Milpitas rallied from a halftime deficit as well as a fourth quarter deficit to win 31-28 in Palo Alto. The Trojans scored five touchdowns as two came from star running back Squally Canada. Palo Alto had four touchdowns with Stanford commit quarterback Keller Chryst throwing for two and running for one.
Milpitas is undefeated in league play with four wins as Canada, Tre Hartley, and junior running back Savion Black lead the Trojans' attack. Canada is a bruising back who also has the speed to get to the edge on sweeps. Hartley is the most versatile as he was effective as a defensive back, wide receiver, and return man. Black provides a good second option to Canada in the backfield as he had two touchdown runs himself and will be featured on the offense as a senior. The Milpitas line play was effective on both sides as the running game was obvious in its productivity, but the defensive side was also able to apply pressure in their pass rush.
Palo Alto will go only as far as their line play will take them. Even with a BCS level quarterback in Chryst, he was constantly harassed and had to scramble out of the pocket to make plays. Senior running back Andrew Frick had two scores and senior wide receiver Keesean Johnson had one as they do provide Chryst with some offensive options. On the defensive side, the unit was able to make some key stops but got gashed on several double-digit yard runs and a few big pass plays.
Milpitas controls its own destiny in league play as they could face Los Gatos in the season finale for the league title. Despite being one dimensional in its offensive attack, opponents have had trouble stopping them even if they know what is coming. Milpitas needs to work on the penalties and special teams as they had a few unsportsmanlike calls and did not convert on the extra point or two-point conversions on its first four touchdowns.
Palo Alto will need to win out to have a winning record for the regular season, as their key game will be against Los Gatos, the other currently undefeated team in league play. The Vikings look like they will have to win in high offensive scoring games, as the defense has not been able to slow down formidable opponents up to now. With that kind of pressure, the offense has little margin for error and needs to be efficient with their scoring and limit turnovers as Chryst had two interceptions. Steve Hu
Wallace runs wild in QB duel
With two of the top quarterbacks in the Central Coast Section with Menlo's Jack Heneghan and Terra Nova's Anthony Gordon, the points came in fast early. Through the game's first seven possessions, all resulted in touchdowns to give Menlo a 25-22 lead. The Knights carried the lead into the half, but Terra Nova's defense tightened up and had three second half scores for a 44-25 win.
The difference was Tigers' running back John Wallace, who rushed for 277 yards and five touchdowns. Two of his highlight runs were a 70 yard touchdown run from the wildcat on fourth down and a 62 yard score at the start of the fourth quarter to virtually ice the game.
With Wallace running wild, the expected quarterback dual still produced big numbers highlighted by Heneghan in defeat. The senior threw for 492 yards and two touchdowns with two touchdown rushes. Gordon, who has burst onto the scene as a junior, threw for 299 yards with a touchdown.
Terra Nova (7-0) has two more tests coming up with Menlo-Atherton on November 1 and Sacred Heart Prep on November 8. Menlo (5-2) play South San Francisco this week before ending the regular season with Menlo-Atherton and Sacred Heart Prep. Douglas Benton